Robert Bennett – Repeat Sex Offender – Guilty Sexual Assault of 11 year old

“There’s nothing favorable to say about Mr. Bennett.
… He’s essentially a plague on society”


A previously convicted sex offender who was found to be at “moderate” risk to offend again was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for the sexual assault of an 11-year-old county girl last year.

Robert Bennett, 36, of Burlington City, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault earlier this year. At the time of the assault, he was already a registered sex offender under Megan’s Law for previous convictions.

Bennett is listed on the Megan’s Law Internet registry site as a Tier 2 offender, meaning authorities determined he posed a moderate risk of re-offense. Bennett has been on the registry since he was released from state prison in 2003 for convictions for sexual assault and criminal sexual contact in the county in 1997, according to the state Department of Corrections’ Web site.

“There’s nothing favorable to say about Mr. Bennett. … He’s essentially a plague on society,” said Kevin Morgan, Burlington County assistant prosecutor. “I’m fully confident he’ll do it again. … He just doesn’t care.”

Morgan said Bennett faces civil commitment at the conclusion of his prison term. Megan’s Law includes provisions for involuntary commitment for inmates who complete their maximum sentences but “who are believed to be mentally ill and constitute threats to the public safety.”

Superior Court Judge James J. Morley noted that Bennett victimized two 14-year-old girls when he was 25. “As you got older, you went younger,” he said.

Bennett tearfully apologized to the victim’s family in court, but one woman quickly rejected the offer. “I don’t accept it. I hate you. I hate you,” she said sobbing. “I hope you rot in hell.”

Bennett knew the victim and her family.

“He took and abused her. He took away her innocence. I trusted him,” said the girl’s grandmother, whose name is being withheld to protect the victim’s identity. “I don’t understand how you take a child’s innocence.”

Morley described Bennett as “hedonistic, opportunistic and exploitative” and said his apology was “too little, too late.”

“You are so completely wrapped up in yourself that you take whatever is around,” the judge said. “You knew how old this girl was. You knew she was a child.”

He said he was comfortable with the sentence only because of the high likelihood that Bennett will be civilly committed. Morley also ordered him to get therapy, as recommended by doctors.

Court-appointed defense attorney Bonnie Geller Gorman said Bennett, a father of six who owes about $30,000 in child support, has a “raging alcohol abuse problem” that has been a factor in his behavior.

She said he hopes he gets help for his anger and substance abuse issues. “He knows the risk of civil commitment,” Geller Gorman said.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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